Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experiences sexual or physical violence – most likely from their intimate partner, according to a report from the World Health Organization. There is an urgent need to increase sensitization regarding sexual violence and the awareness of consent and sexual violence amongst persons at large. In this series, we examine sexual violence and related issues that have come up in the news, on a weekly basis, published every Saturday. This is an attempt to improve awareness regarding incidents of sexual violence and related matters, so that we, as a society can take steps towards collective action to reduce its incidence. It is an effort to ensure that we acknowledge the rampant sexual violence that exists, lest we forget.
This issue looks at news from 28th July to 4th August 2018.
Vulnerable women claim Queensland’s system an absolute green light for the perpetrators sexual violence
Women and survivors’ support groups demand an urgent reform in the system of Queensland and say that government is governed by murky consent laws, untrained police and inadequate support services. Leona Berrie from the sexual assault network calls for an inquiry into all aspects of sexual violence after a Guardian Australia report revealed that the police shredded a rape statement by a women without investigating it. “In the Queensland’s context we’re really sitting in a policy vacuum,” Berrie said.
In the wake of recent cases of sex involving 11 year old girls, French Parliament adopts tougher legislation
Following the election campaign’s promises of President Emmanuel Macron to get strict laws on sexual violence and sexism, the National Assembly votes in favour of tougher punishment against rape and sexual violence against minors and provides for an extension of limitation period for execution of certain crimes of sexual harassment.
Supreme Court says” IPC 497 Adultery law as anti-women and archaic”
A five judgement Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra made the observation on the second day of hearing on a number of petitions bashing IPC Section 497 of Adultery law.
IPC Section 497 states, : “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery.” This law seems to be pro-women but in reality is archaic as wife is not a personal property of the husband who can be subjected to someone’s desire.
Consequent rise of #MeToo movement has the military women around the world speak of sexual assault and seek Justice
The problem of sexual violence in military is spread across the world, from Pakistan to US. It is still very difficult for women to seek justice for sexual violence faced by them. A young woman Flying Officer in the Pakistan Air Force shares how she found the courage to speak out after the revelations of pervasive sexual harassment and assault in the US Film Industry and the consequent rise of #MeToo movement. She talks about how armies are male dominated and account for 90% of male military staff which becomes an intrinsically difficult workplace for women. Furthermore, for centuries, armies have used rape as weapon of war and still continue to do so.
Women who survived sexual violence in Kosovo conflict finally recognized
Kosovo landscape is dotted with tributes to heroes and martyrs of the ethnic Albanian uprising against the Yugoslav regime. But Human Rights Watch points out that nothing marks victims of the ‘weapons’ and ‘instruments’ of systematic ethnic cleansing of that war – the use of rape and sexual violence. After two decades Kosovo has started to recognize the survivors of rape and sexual assault. More than 600 survivors applied for pension when Kosovo belatedly recognized them and they became eligible for it on the basis of the harm they suffered.
This article was first published on Safecity, as a part of the blogging team by Khrushali Jaiswal